Leading Moms Group Commends CDC for Adding Paid Family and Medical Leave, Early Childhood Education to Its Breastfeeding Report Card
“We are so pleased that, for the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Breastfeeding Report Card looks at state paid family and medical leave laws and early care and education policies. These two critically important issues have a direct impact on moms’ ability to breastfeed their infants, as well as our ability to support and care for our families.
“Released yesterday as National Breastfeeding Month came to an end, the Report Card’s key findings – that ‘many families do not breastfeed for as long as they intend to and breastfeeding disparities by race and ethnicity persist’ and that ‘breastfeeding families may need stronger systems of support to reach their breastfeeding goals’ – should be an urgent call to action for our country. Breastfeeding has myriad, significant health benefits for both moms and babies, and we should be putting policies in place that make it possible for every parent to reach her breastfeeding goals. Guaranteeing all working people paid family and medical leave and affordable child care that supports breastfeeding are essential to making progress.”
-Statement of Tina Sherman, Senior Campaign Director for Maternal Justice, MomsRising
“In order for more moms to meet their breastfeeding goals, we need Congress to pass the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act, and all states to follow the CDC Report Card’s recommendations for supportive maternity care practices, state paid family and medical leave laws, and early care and education policies. The U.S. Surgeon General has identified a lack of paid leave as a significant barrier to breastfeeding, especially for employed mothers with lower incomes. And the CDC recommends that state licensing regulations for child care centers provide comfortable accommodations for mothers to express milk and/or breastfeed their children on-site and recommend feeding of breast milk by parents or caregivers during normal operating hours. We recognize the extraordinary work that childcare professionals do every day, and continue working to ensure they are adequately compensated and supported in providing these essential supports to families.
“Families, communities and our country will be stronger when we improve maternal health and make it possible for more moms to breastfeed their babies. This should be a high priority at the national, state, and local levels.”
-Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising